Back then, I can safely say that I was one of the few people monitoring Spanish-language media in the United States for their representation of gay issues so when the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, then under Joan Garry's leadership, reached out to me and shared plans to launch a Spanish-language media component, I was a bit skeptical but excited, and when I found out that Mónica had been hired I was just elated. I truly believe that GLAAD, in some ways, simply lucked out in getting Mónica: The tremendous work she has done over the last five years at the agency has truly had an incredible impact on how Spanish-language media sees the community.
The fact that La Opinion became the first Spanish-language newspaper in the United States to editorialize in favor of same-sex marriage, that both HOY and El Diario La Prensa now publish semi-annual gay pride supplements, that El Gordo of El Gordo y La Flaca now watches what he says about the gays, and that Luis Jimenez of Univision radio was silenced for a couple of months after making offensive remarks about lesbians is all due to Mónica and her staff.
It's really difficult to convey just how much I admire what Mónica did at GLAAD and how much it saddens me to see her go, even as I know we will continue to be life-long friends, and that her move to Azteca TV will open new and much-deserved professional doors for her.
When she shared the news with me a couple of days back, I tried to thank her for all she had done, which sounded a bit awkward since I wanted to convey just how much it has meant to me as a community advocate but when you say it to someone who is a close friend, well, it just sounds funny. So I guess I'll do it publicly through this blog as well. Mónica: You rock! Azteca TV, you just hired one amazing woman. And, GLAAD, you have got some pretty big shoes to fill.
Above, a photo of la Mónica between Pedro Julio Serrano and myself. Below is the statement that Mónica just sent out:
September 21, 2007
It is with a great deal of happiness and pride that I share these news with you:
Azteca América, one of the nation’s largest Spanish-language media networks, has tapped me to serve as its Press Relations Director. This position will allow me to grow professionally while overseeing communications strategies for the most important Spanish-language DMAs in the U.S. and will enable me to collaborate on corporate communications for its Mexico City-based sister network, TV Azteca. I will be gravitating between Los Angeles and Mexico City.
I am exhilarated to have the opportunity to become a part of another front to keep pushing for more visibility of LGBT Latina/os. The next 5 to 10 years will be instrumental for the development of Spanish-language media in this country. I want to be in the middle of it. I want to be where the action is.
I thank you for 5 wonderful years of service and the opportunity to help lead a necessary change in Spanish-language media. Thanks to you, we were able to sit down with Univision, Televisa, Telemundo, TV Azteca, Azteca America, Mega TV, Si TV, MTV3s, CNN en Español's executives as well as hundreds of journalists at several newspapers, magazines, radio and online outkets - in order to change the way they discuss our issues.
Thanks to you, we started a much-needed cultural change in the Latina/o community and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My last day at GLAAD will be Wednesday, October 3. Should you have any media needs after my departure, please contact Chuy Sanchez at: 646.871.8008 or at email@example.com
This is not a good bye, but a "¡Hasta luego!"